By Alice Knox Eaton

Sherry says, “He finally figured out I have two boobs.” She is talking about Jimmy, the boy I like. She has spent two afternoons making out with him in the backseat of his friend’s car. His friend and another girl had the front seat.

Sherry is from the city. She is visiting my friend Jeanette over spring vacation. It is March and muddy and gray. We wait for rides to wait at playgrounds for someone to bring us booze or pot. No one brings anything. Maybe cigarettes.

Jeanette and I both like Jimmy, but he opts for Sherry from out of town. I don’t really want to make out with Jimmy, though, so I am sort of relieved. I don’t have boobs. I wear a 32AAA bra that makes camouflaging lumps in my shirt. I don’t want anyone under it.

Jeanette pretends she doesn’t care and says Sherry is still her best friend. They have known each other since they were three. That means I am not Jeanette’s best friend, though we spend every weekend and afternoon together, unless we fight and take a break.

Jeanette knows people who can get us pot, or maybe vodka, though I prefer pot. So I forgive her when she hangs up the phone while I’m talking. Maybe not forgive, but I forget. Whatever.

Jeanette is hilarious when she’s stoned and I laugh and laugh.

This vacation is a bust. We wait on playgrounds in the drizzle. I don’t smoke but I smell like everyone else’s cigarettes. I crave the deep burn of dope in my lungs. Tobacco is just lame.

Jimmy looks like the picture of Romeo on my copy of Romeo and Juliet. Dark hair, smoldering eyes. Only the advanced ninth graders are reading Romeo and Juliet. In Jeanette’s class they are reading To Kill A Mockingbird. I saw the movie and had to look up rape in the dictionary. So rape is what white Southern girls accuse black guys of doing – well, back in the thirties. So we shouldn’t talk about rape. I like a black guy in tenth grade, Kenny B. He’s smooth and quiet, smiles kind of sideways. But I don’t really talk to guys, except lame ones.

I don’t think I will ever get boobs

"flashmemoiraliceeatonknox"Alice Knox Eaton teaches writing and literature at Springfield College. She has published essays in the First Person column in The Chronicle of Higher Education, fiction and creative nonfiction in the online journals Flash Fiction World and Mothers Always Write, and academic articles on Toni Morrison and Nadine Gordimer.


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